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Should cachers worry about magnetic north shifting?


Expat64
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This is a largely tongue in cheek and entertaining article about the concerns in some quarters about the shift in magnetic north and it's impact on navigation for hikers (and by implication, potentially, cachers). I say tongue in cheek as I was not really fishing for any long discussions about the technicalities of the shift in magnetic north, and specifically whether or not it *actually* impacts cachers, just looking to give you a light hearted read ;-)

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-25841106#

 

But if, of course, anybody wants to have said discussion... ;-)

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Uhhhh.... just wait until the poles reverse. They have done it before and will do it again.

 

Question(s) is are... does it happen in the blink of any eye? Does it take a loooong time -- if so what are things like during that interim period? Would it flux (jump to and fro) before completing? What if after the shift, N is in central Australia and S is in the middle of the North Atlantic?

 

.... lots to "worry" about :blink:

 

But, I think none of us have such a lifespan. Maybe it will surprise us and do it tomorrow!

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For most of us, the answer is no. The annual change is so small, it's going to go unnoticed. The 10-year change can be a degree or two depending on where you live. But the thing is, the USGS is on top of it, and the declination data to correct for the difference between magnetic and true north is updated in your GPS. The only time it may affect you is if you're using an old GPS that's no longer receiving updates, and hasn't been updated in over 10 years. And even then, with your compass off by only a degree or two, it won't affect short-distance navigation.

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... it takes you to,the location.

Except if you're working a multi where the CO has, for whatever perverse reason, used magnetic north for a heading, and the distance is substantial enough to cause the angular error to generate a significant positional error.

Even in the other thread, I'll concede that this is the ONLY time it's ever bothered me one way or another when looking for a cache with an older unit, or looking for a cache placed quite some time ago.

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